charter court judge seeks probe into handling of the red bull heir case - Charter Court judge seeks probe into handling of the Red Bull heir case

A Constitutional Court judge has urged Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to investigate alleged mishandling, by the police and the public prosecutors, of the Red Bull heir hit and run case, warning that Thailand’s justice system has been rendered meaningless, after the prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges against the suspect and the police’s failure to challenge that decision.

In his Line post to fellow jurists, Mr. Thaveekiart Meenakanit said that the fatal road accident, involving the Red Bull heir, Mr. Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, is widely understood by the public, but the fact that the suspect was spared prosecution, apparently because of his economic and social status, is unprecedented and incomprehensible.

He said the police and prosecutors should have litigated the case but, by failing to do so, they have diminished people’s trust in the two law enforcement organizations.

Beset with an economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, political in-fighting and increasing anti-government protests, the Charter Court judge said that the Government can now only lean on law and order to justify its existence, “but the majority of the people now see that the law is no longer sacred or to be respected.

This is not just a question of criticism from all sectors of the society, which will subside in a couple of weeks, but it is the beginning of the end of the Government,” said Mr. Thaveekiart.

The Constitutional Court judge said that many people believe that the Prime Minister’s reported acceptance of a 300 million baht donation from the Red Bull empire a few months ago, might be related to the decisions of the prosecutors and the police concerning the case.

He said that the current anti-government protests by student activists are, in the big picture, protests against injustice in Thai society and, with or without the Government’s consent, this decision by the public prosecutors, at this time, amounts to pouring fuel onto a fire and, in the end, the fire will engulf the country.

He urged the Prime Minister to tell the public quickly that it had nothing to do with the decisions of the police and the prosecutors, set up a panel to investigate the actions of the police and prosecutors in the case and to mete out the harshest penalties against those who are found to have abused their authority.

“It is the only way to restore public confidence in the country’s justice system and restore law and order,” said Mr. Thaveekiart.

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